Sesame Ginger Yakisoba

Our newest menu item uses tahini to add sesame flavor to what would otherwise be a peanut sauce because Nirvana Wok is a peanut free concept.

RECIPE: For the sauce use tahini, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy, light soy, sugar and jalapeno. If you’re noticing no precise measurements here that’s because I don’t do that. The sauce is heated to a boil before being added to the finished dish.

For the noodles you’ll need ground pork, cabbage, bean sprouts and green onions.

The pork, cabbage, noodles and sprouts were made separately. This meal was cooked in a wok – in my backyard – but had to be done in pieces and combined after, in foil pans stuck in the oven. A reminder that Nirvana Wok’s backyard capacity right now is about 12-20 meals per mission. A ghost kitchen situation could scale things up fast but this is the sweet spot for now.

Nirvana Wok LLC is purchasing a propane wok situation to supplement the current induction cooker setup.

Pro tip: add some chili garlic sauce to the bean sprouts before cooking. And ALWAYS heat or parboil bean sprouts. They are a common disease vector grown in what are essentially petri dishes. You can cook the hell out of them and they will still retain much of their crunch.

A five pound bag of yakisoba was economical but I was dismayed to see that the noodles contained Yellow 5 & 6 and Red 40 - artificial food coloring that is to be avoided. Perhaps without color they would be grey, but there are so many non-toxic, natural options for coloring food.

Dropped off eight 26 oz. containers at the Rainier Valley Food Bank, along with some pantry goods. Thinking that RVFB does not need Nirvana Wok right now and that our micro-contributions will be better off sent elsewhere. Despite being in a tiny space RVFB gives out a massive amount of food and has dozens of volunteers and drivers. It’s a busy, chaotic place. Dealing with processing the food waste and recycling alone is probably a full time job. We’ll keep dropping off non-perishable stuff there as always but gonna focus on tent residents for now, and Nickelsville, where we dropped off four 32 oz. containers. The guys at the security desk seemed genuinely thrilled and said “you just made our day.”

Total estimated cost for 12 entrées:

$5.50 5 lb. bag of yakisoba noodles
$1.50 tahini
$7.50 ground pork
$1.00 condiments
$3.50 veggies

$1.58 Per serving

Two 26 oz. versions went to the family. Our taste-tester – who has a peanut allergy – loved the dish. If you do that math 14 meals were produced for $1.35 each. Not counting my volunteered labor, of course.

Didn’t have carrots on hand and those would definitely be an option for this dish. And maybe some sesame seeds. Also regretting not including ramekins of garlic chili sauce with the deliveries.

–Alex